Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 9 May 2018

Reflections on the 10th anniversary of the operation Long Arm


By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

Before going into the details of these reflections, I need to define as to what the Operation long Arm (OLA) is about. The (OLA) was the bold Military Operation with which the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) entered Khartoum in Broad Daylight 10 Years ago as of Thursday May 10th 2018. The (OLA) was led by the then its leader late Dr. Khalil Ibrahim Mohmed with the objective of taking the war far from the areas of the population of Darfur, who suffered ethnic cleansing and genocide by the enemy of the ruling regime of the National Islamic Front / National Congress Party led by the evil killer Génocidaire Marshall Omer Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who was waging proxy wars of attrition using the tribal militias Janjaweed while he and his entourage remain safe away from the theater of the war in the capital Khartoum. Thus, the (OLA) was intended among many other objectives the use of the principle of taking the battle head-on into the enemy’s home.

On that Day Saturday the Tenth of May 2008, the Army of the Movement of Dr. Khalil Ibrahim entered the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, cutting 1,600 kilometers to topple the ruling regime of the National Islamic Front (NIF)/(NCP). The movement’s army fought several battles with the government forces of Omar al-Bashir on the long road between the liberated lands and the state of Khartoum was in battles in North Darfur and Kordofan before reaching the outskirts of Khartoum. This is because the military intelligence of the regime is fully aware of the army of Dr. Khalil Ibrahim coming to Khartoum. That military operation codenamed Operation Long Arm (OLA) has been described by analysts and military experts as unprecedented for its boldness and military professionalism. This is in addition to the commitment of the military leadership of the movement of Justice and Equality in the abiding by the International laws and human rights for the safety and rights of civilians during war. Moreover, the avoidance of causing intended damage the health and educational institutions and worship places and drinking water sources. As well as the need for discipline of soldiers and officers of the Movement to implement the articles of the Justice and Equality Movement military laws included in the gazette.

It is time now to find out the Motives and Reasons that made the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to take the decision to attack the Three Town Capital of Sudan Khartoum and the implementation of the Operation Long Arm (OLA).

The direct factors and reasons that made the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) take the decision to implement the Military (OLA) that entered Khartoum in the backyard of the archenemy National Islamic Front / ruling regime of the National Congress Party include the following:
• The peace agreement in Abuja, Nigeria, between the ruling regime in Khartoum and the Sudan Liberation Movement /Army –Minni Minnawi (SLA-MM) faction had abjectly failed to meet the basic demands of the people of Sudan in the Darfur region for which the revolution broke out in the Province in 2003 as well as the failure to implement what was agreed upon with the Minni Minnawi faction. Moreover, the Abuja agreement did not find a solution to the outstanding issues
• The continuation of the war throughout the Darfur region with the displacement of citizens despite the existence of the Abuja agreement ink on paper. Seeking for just sustainable peace in the presence of Omer al-Bashir on the helm of Sudan is just like looking for a needle in a hay stack, so to speak.
• Continuing threats from the international community to impose sanctions on the Justice and Equality Movement for failing to sign the failed Abuja agreement
• The failure of the National Salvation Front (NRF), which was formed by the Darfur factions, which did not sign the Abuja agreement
• The JEM army has become full of men, military equipment, and warlike vehicles, as its battle proved to have inflicted defeats on the regime’s forces in several major battles on wide swathes that have become liberated territories for the Movement
• The principle of taking the battles to the enemy’s home instead of waiting for the enemy in your backyard and the home of your citizens a fact that has been convinced by the leadership of the Movement and the people of Sudan in the Darfur region
• The entry of Khartoum militarily was the decision of the masses at the Fourth General Congress (FGC) of the Movement for Justice and Equality (JEM) held in the liberated lands in Darfur between October 18 and 22, 2007, where the audience was heavy and the crowd cheered: "All The Forces are to Go into Khartoum”! ," in the sense that all the army forces of the Movement must enter into the Three Town Sudanese Capital Khartoum”. The conference was a big demonstration and a festival attended by more than five thousand and six hundred people, including seven hundred women. They came from camps of displacement from all the states of the Darfur region and the refugee camps from Chad. The Fourth General Congress of the JEM could be called the ‘Congress of the Fateful Decisions and Resolutions’ of the Movement
• The continuing frustration of JEM leadership about the phenomenon in which the NCP/NIF has gained a highly criminal expertise to lure the few hireling traitors from the former Darfur rebels groups to defect to its ranks. This comes at the backdrop of the fact that within the region’s borders is a wealth of interest and intrigue.
• The deepening impasse in the NIF-JEM Darfur Attempts for Peace Process.

Description of some events during the (OLA) Operation within and around Khartoum City as described at the time as follows:
ON Saturday, May 10th 2008 and around 2 p.m. some 1,000 JEM fighters reached Omdurman the Second largest city in Sudan lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum, in a column of about 130 vehicles. JEM forces entered Omdurman from the north through Wadi Seidna military base and from the west. According to local residents, artillery fire could be heard west of Omdurman at around 4 p.m. The main JEM targets appeared to be Arba’een Road (near the Omdurman military base) and Al-Awsat police station, in the town’s center, where JEM stole police vehicles. JEM forces engaged with government forces in several districts including the main market of Souq Libya (Libya market) and residential areas of Umbadda, Al-Thoura and Al-Muhandiseen. Furthermore, the Government forces immediately deployed troops, backed up by tanks and helicopter gunships, to Omdurman. Heavy fighting continued for several hours including in the markets of Al-Souq Al-Sha’bi (Popular market) and Souq Libya in Omdurman. At around 5 p.m. some of the JEM forces started to move towards Al- Ingaz Bridge to cross the White Nile from Omdurman to Khartoum in an apparent bid to take over the Presidential Palace. Another JEM force headed towards the National Radio and Television building in Omdurman. Both attempts were repelled by government forces. Sporadic fighting continued for the next 48 hours spreading to Khartoum’s Al-Souq Al-Arabi (Arabic market), Al-G’abat district and Al-Hurriya Street in Central Khartoum. According to government statements, some of the rebels infiltrated the capital and entered residential area wearing civilian clothes. In state television announcement they called on local residents to call a special hotline if they see anyone suspicious in their area. [4] A reward of US$125,000 was also announced in state television asking the public to call a special hotline for information leading to the JEM leader’s capture, which was later doubled to US$250,000.[5] Almost immediately after the attack, mass arrests started to take place across the city, including of members of the JEM forces. On the other hand, the International Response was unanimous represented in the form of condemnation of the attack by JEM with many highlighting the negative implications the attack will have on the situation in Darfur in addition to undermining the international efforts to bring a resolution to the conflict. https://www.hrw.org/report/2008/06/16/crackdown-khartoum/mass-arrests-torture-and-disappearances-may-10-attack

The International News media Headlines at the time included: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ten+of+may+2008+is+the+date+of+justice+and+equality+movement+forces+entererd+khartoum&oq=ten+of+may+2008+is+the+d
• 2008 attack on Omdurman and Khartoum – Wikipedia
• Sudan rebels say they entered Khartoum - Sudan | ReliefWeb
• News Sudan 23 May 2008 Darfur crisis reaches Sudanese capital
• Reasons and circumstances for JEM carryout Operation Long Armhttp://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?iframe&page=imprimable&id_article=51153
• BBC NEWS | Africa | Sudanese rebels ’reach Khartoum ’http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7394033.stm
• Mass Arrests, Torture, and Disappearances since the May 10 Attack ... https://www.hrw.org/report/2008/06/16/crackdown-khartoum/mass-arrests-torture-and-disappearances-may-10-attack
• Darfur rebel JEM says entered Khartoum, taken Omdurman – Reuters
• Any information concerning an association called the Justice and ...
• Khartoum under curfew as 3,000 Darfur rebels advance on capital

It is fair to state that in spite of lack of achieving the primary goal for the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) for the onslaught attack of Khartoum on the 10th May 2008 was to oust the regime led by the Génocidaire Marshall Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and his criminal entourage , the (OLA) has caused resounding repercussions worldwide and instilled fear among the members of the regime of the Islamists, who fled and ran to the faraway areas from Khartoum to protect themselves as they realized that they are not safe from the hands of the people that attack them at any moment. In addition to the message by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to Omer al-Bashir and his regime who are just tigers of paper that can be burned and removed with a degree of composure and the solidarity of the political opposition, both armed and civil faction. Last and by no means least, that the message had reached the International Community that people’s rights for decent life are above those of the oppressive dictatorial regime supported by the former Colonial Master countries and they must take into account the rights of the people of the country under the oppression of authoritarian regimes should cease despite the intersecting interests with the enemies of those peoples.

Operation Long Arm (OPL) which marks the 10th Anniversary as of May the 10th 2018 represents for the marginalised Sudanese people as a unique epic of struggle that deserves to be written in our history for ourselves and for the generations who grew up after the epic and those will come in the future. Therefore, it is onus upon us to document it and we really had to do so, given the current situation in which the Sudanese citizens continue languishing under the quagmire of crises created by the regime is making every possible to annihilate whoever opposes its abjectly failed plans and the criminal efforts to draft a new constitution to allow the Génocidaire Omer al-Bashir to run for a third term in the alleged 2020 elections. The National Islamic Front (NIF)/National Congress Party (NCP) regime elements are masters of deception and lying. This is because of its corrupt parasitic nature. This regime does not have any options and cannot get out of its total crisis, simply because it does not have any strategic plan to get out of the mess it has deliberately created on the grounds of institutional corruption and its criminal mind set. Many international human rights bodies urge the Sudanese authorities to respect and guarantee the right to freedom of expression as provided for in article 39 of the Interim National Constitution of 2005, AKA Naivasha Agreement Constitution and international and human rights treaties and laws that Sudan is a state party to.

The tenth day of May should not be in vain for the people of Sudan without remembering the entry of the legions of the Justice and Equality Movement of Sudan into the hiding place of the genocidal fugitive of international justice Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir and his corrupt cortege. Let us make the 10th of May of every Year a National Day Celebrated by the Masses of the Sudanese public as a pivotal Station in the Struggle of our Patriotic Individuals from our Nation as Part of the History of Struggle against the enemies of the decent peaceful life of the civilians of our Country, Sudan that has been Robbed through deception by the Hypocritical Gangsters who Claimed Monopoly of Islam and Tried to isolate and distract the country’s citizens away from the issue of concern. The ruling National Congress Party (NCP) attempted to place a wedge among the components of Sudanese society in order to divide them and rule. The revival of the Tenth Anniversary of the Operation Long Arm (OLA) will facilitate in the awakening of the grievances of the Oppressed and deprived of rights to recover them whether the regime like it or not. The Sudanese people are no longer tolerating any policies presented to them as a fait accompli.

The Sudanese people are asking the components of Sudan’s political opposition, both civilian and armed, what are their immediate practical plans to overthrow the ruling regime of the National Congress Party for the sake of liberating the homeland from the omen and the accurse these criminal tyrants brought to the nation, which has become under threat of as to exist or not, given the evidence of the split the southern part of it in 2010? Thus, many questions impose themselves in today’s grim such bad conditions and current crisis experienced, the Sudanese citizens ask as to what Sudanese political Oppositions will present in these circumstances in their role as opposition components representatives of their constituents. The ruling regime of the International Muslim Brotherhood Movement (MBM) Khartoum branch will be increasing its arbitrariness to inflict the greatest harm on the people of Sudan to silence the voices calling for the overthrow of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime led by the genocidal criminal, the fugitive from the international justice wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, infamous, Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, the tyrant who led the country into bankruptcy by corruption and nepotism and looting the savings of the central bank and the country’s wealth of gold and oil and at a time he decided to run for Presidency in the alleged 2020 elections to protect himself against the fate that awaits him because of his accumulated crimes during the lean 29 years of his arbitrary dictatorship? Furthermore, Darfur remains a death trap for civilians through the absurd civil wars of attrition that have been waged by the National Congress Party (NCP)/ National Islamic Front (NIF) and going on without ending since 2003 when the rebels took up arms to comfort the NCP/NIF regime which said it would not negotiate with those who did not carrying arms. Now the regime feels at rest with the financial and political support it receives from the European Union (EU) in exchange for curbing the flow of migrants coming from the Horn of African Countries, new rapprochement with the US Administration under President Donald Trump and the support of Russia and China at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the collusion of protection of the African Union (AU) with the Génocidaire al-Bashir against the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant and let alone the position of the Arab League, the League of Arab States on the contrary, their member countries remained staunchly supportive of the genocidal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir providing safe haven for him during his shuttle travels, to defy and challenge the authority of the (ICC) to provide ways to escape from international justice.

Still more crimes will be added to previous heinous ones include:
• Tea Ladies whose Rights Confiscated by the infamous Public Order Police: The law of the ruling regime in Sudan, which confiscates the tools and property of the poor groups called the Tea Ladies, are poor women who carry out the work of the tea in the open and sell it to the passersby for the sake of living a decent family members of children and the elderly when the means and sources of money from the state are closed and were deprived of their the Sudanese citizenship rights and social justice guaranteed by the provisions of the Constitution of the Sudan.
• The Participation in the Alleged 2020 Elections is nothing but a Dance with the Criminal: Activists say the participation in the elections planned for 2020 in which Omer al-Bashir is planning to run through amending the interim constitution of the 2005 agreement known as the Naivasha Convention in Kenya as a participant in the crimes of the ruling National Congress Party
• Of his neverending crimes, Bashir has used the Sudan Arm Force (SAF) along with his allied Rapid Support Force (RSF) former Janjaweed militias to participate in the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen which some media outlets Compared it as a modern-day Vietnam War in Yemen as mercenaries for money.
• The National Islamic Front (NIF) and its heir the National Congress Party (NCP) Regime succeeded to Fool out the Sudanese public through the Vacuous Religious Slogans and hypocrisy for so long before the falsehood of it has been discovered and exposed it to the World by the sharp acumen of the very people whom the Entity Bamboozled for nearly thirty odd years. Thus, the NIF Bag of Lies will no longer represent one of the tools that help it continue ruling Sudan any further by the fooling out process.

• The US Administration under President Donald Trump needs to realize that the NIF/(NCP) regime in Sudan continues supporting terrorist groups and accordingly it should not attempt to lift the terrorist-related Sanctions imposed in 1997 by the then-president Bill Clinton issued an executive order citing Sudan’s “continued support for international terrorism, ongoing efforts to destabilise neighbouring governments, and the prevalence of human rights violations. The political Islam’s Muslim Brotherhood Movement (MBM) syndicate in Sudan Cannot be trusted with what it says or agreements it concludes with the parties in dispute. Omer al-Bashir does not damn care what will happen to the people of Sudan from the hardships and calamities as long as he is in power protected against his arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial for the heinous crimes he has perpetrated in Darfur. He strongly believes that his presence at the helm of Sudan would protect him as a protective shield. That belief makes him plan to run for the alleged 2020 election, which is sure to win through rigging as it did in the past.
• The International Community is expected to strongly deplore the Government of Sudan’s continued detention of political leaders and activists with a blatant disregard to International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Thus the people of Sudan are calling for the immediate release of all political detainees and prisoners of war without resorting to the maneuvering, prevarication and deceit the regime used to employ.
• Omer al-Bashir’s neverending behaviour of wobbling between the international political Poles, Russian Bear in the East and the Yankee Cowboy in the West seeking Protection of each against the Other is not in the interest of the Sudanese citizens who opted for the Non-Allied Movement which is a group of states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. As of 2012, the Movement has 120 members. It was established in 1961! We, as a Sudanese people, have gained independence from colonialism since January 1956. We do not want to go back to being part of the previous axes which seeks to re-colonize developing countries from the back door!

• The previous proxy wars of the NCP regime in Darfur through the Janjaweed militias now have become wars of attrition waged by the mischievous Rapid Support Forces (RSF) which in fact are the former tribal Janjaweed militias which have been cloned and merged into the Sudan Armed Force (SAF) under the direct Command of Marshall Omer al-Bashir personally to cause more havoc and commit atrocious war crimes.

Nevertheless, there is no dictatorship in this world that will last forever. There is no doubt that Oppressive regimes will be ousted no matter how long they have lasted as it happened in many neighboring countries. The best examples were the Libya’s Gaddafi, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh and Tunis’ ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and many others in modern history.

We are determined and have resolved to call all the honourable people to continue confronting this decrepit regime, to all cities, countryside and neighbourhoods throughout the dear country, to form and move its committees for the sake of Intifada and salvation. The reality now confirms that there is no choice but to topple the National Congress Party (NCP) regime and declare the popular uprising. The foregoing methods of action will culminate in the political strike and total civil disobedience. Thus, there will be no room for all the reasons for the so-called dialogue with the regime, and any such reasons are only calls for prolonging the life of the corrupt genocidal regime. The Demise of the NCP regime will be followed by Transitional justice to heal wounds and restore rights and to hold criminals accountable for the crimes they have perpetrated in Darfur and elsewhere and hand over the fugitives from international justice to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in the Netherlands.

And victory will be for the Sudanese people, God willing. Greetings to those who remain locked up by the regime in the prison cells. And Glory to the martyrs and Victory is the ally of our brave people. And No sleep in the eyes of the cowards and the traitors! May the Eyes of the Cowards Never Sleep! It is our obligation to struggle as long as we are living but the ghosts of our six hundred thousand dead implore us to endure our struggle for justice and freedom, no matter how long that will take as long as the tears of the survivors of the Darfur genocide are still shedding.
There is a noticeable gap, yawning between rhetorical support to prevent atrocities and to take effective action in response to the increasing number of crimes.

William Shakespeare who was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, The United Kingdom and an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist and often called England’s national poet and the "Bard of Avon" has been quoted as saying: ““Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/947.William_Shakespeare
? William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Percy Bysshe Shelley the radical poet, polemicist and political activist and one of the major English romantic poets has been quoted as delivered these verses of his revolutionary rhyming poetry:
Rise like lions after slumber
In unfathomable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
That in sleep have fallen on you
Ye are many, they are few.


Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/

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